Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Joined
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Arkansas/Oklahoma
    Age
    41
    Posts
    1,890

    Cable Cards, do you use them?

    Does anyone here use CableCards? I'm in the process of making my move to HD, however, I don't really want to compromise my TV infrastructure by using a cable box. With that in mind, I don't hear very good things about CableCards and I was wondering if anyone here had some tips/advice on the matter.
    Soy el caimán seis cincuenta.

  2. #2
    Joined
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Cape Cod, MA
    Age
    62
    Posts
    11,621

    Re: Cable Cards, do you use them?

    Cable cards work great. The problem is you have to buy a pre-built computer to get them. Cablelabs will not allow them to be used with an owner built computer. There is a special bios which prevents this from happening.
    I believe that Dell, HP, and Velocity Micro are the 3 main options if you want a cablecard PC.

  3. #3
    Joined
    Jul 2004
    Location
    NYC
    Age
    53
    Posts
    9,778

    Re: Cable Cards, do you use them?

    cable cards at present do not allow 2 way communication with the cable company. So that means no pay per view or on demand. Also I know that the make tv's with cable card slots so pc is not necessary. Just curious though how a cable box will compromise your TV infrastructure?
    If you enjoy gaming click here to learn about the Fragging Frogs.


  4. #4
    Joined
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Arkansas/Oklahoma
    Age
    41
    Posts
    1,890

    Re: Cable Cards, do you use them?

    At present, I can pull various shows in through my Tivo box. From there, using Galleon I can pull the files off the tivo onto the file server, run a series of conversions on them and either re-broadcast to my other computers/TV's or get it ready to burn to a DVD or whatever.

    If I go to a cable-box.... I don't see any of that happening, because as far as I know, I have no viable way to legally interact with the device.

    I can go to an HD Tivo and rent a cable card, however, I incur quite a bit more expense doing that and I'm also unsure of the result. I also lose some core functionality of Tivo like Tivo-To-Go and things like that.

    I would like for someone to tell me that I'm wrong or read the wrong blogs, thereby providing me with hope.
    Soy el caimán seis cincuenta.

  5. #5
    Joined
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Cape Cod, MA
    Age
    62
    Posts
    11,621

    Re: Cable Cards, do you use them?

    There is a new 2-way cable card coming out, I frankly forget the name of it. But the cable industry is switching over to it.
    The other problem with cablecards is that cable companies do not want to install them. They will tell you that they dont have them, or cant do it. But they are required to install them per law. Once you remind them of that, they can/will usually come around and do it for you. It might take some persistence on your part.
    As far as TV's with cablecard, fewer and fewer come with them now. Pretty hard to find.

  6. #6
    Joined
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Cape Cod, MA
    Age
    62
    Posts
    11,621

    Re: Cable Cards, do you use them?

    And Hauppauge is coming out shortly with a USB device that can accept component inputs, so it can input HD to your computer for the first time, from a cable box, or even a satellite box. It will be around $250 though.

  7. #7
    Joined
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Arkansas/Oklahoma
    Age
    41
    Posts
    1,890

    Re: Cable Cards, do you use them?

    Yeah, I have called my cable company a few times to find out what kind of cards they have, "if" they can install them, how much they cost to rent, and installation cost. Obviously, they don't make it convenient. I have seen cablecards on ebay but in talking to my cable company, they say that it is only withing terms of service if they are the installer.

    Yeah, I have been looking at the add in cards, but really, for $250 I might as well just pay the TiVo tax and not worry about it. But I would really like to try to pull off a Mythbuntu type solution.

    Anyhow, I'm just trying to figure out how people handle the HD content from their cable company while also staying within terms of services.
    Soy el caimán seis cincuenta.

  8. #8
    Joined
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Florida
    Age
    62
    Posts
    132

    Re: Cable Cards, do you use them?

    Quote Originally Posted by John C View Post
    And Hauppauge is coming out shortly with a USB device that can accept component inputs, so it can input HD to your computer for the first time, from a cable box, or even a satellite box. It will be around $250 though.
    I have one of these on pre-order and it is supposed to ship around May 1st. I am planning on hooking it up to my Directv HD reciever and running it through Sagetv. I will post on its functionality in the hopefully not too distant future.
    no sig required.

  9. #9
    Joined
    Jun 2004
    Location
    In a house
    Posts
    5,755

    Re: Cable Cards, do you use them?

    My cable system installs them every day the new 2 way card someone mentioned is the Motorola mcard I believe.

  10. #10
    Joined
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Blaine, WA
    Age
    66
    Posts
    30,989

    Re: Cable Cards, do you use them?

    Thanks for the heads up!

    I have 2 TV's with cablecards. I have a 37" Sharp Aquos LCD and a 65" Toshiba DLP. I like the fact that i don't need a cable box and it's associated monthly costs. I do have a DVR on another TV and it serves that purpose well. As far as missing 2 way communication....I never use that feature so I don't miss it. I'd like to see if the newer cards eliminate the lag associated with channel changes. I also find the cards occasionally get 'lost' and have to be reset. I simply remove them from the TV and reinstall them and power the TV back up. Kind of annoying, but when you consider the costs? It's nice!
    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

  11. #11
    Joined
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    4

    Re: Cable Cards, do you use them?

    Hi all. i'm a n00b, so please be gentle
    i'm a little confused regarding recording digital and hd tv with my computer. i just bought a custom built htpc with a tv tuner card and thought it would allow me to record tv shows directly to my hard drive, so i wouldn't need to use a tivo. well, it does allow me to record but not the way i was expecting. unfortunately, instead of connecting my cable directly to my tv card, i still have to use my directv box and connect to my tv card using, of all things, s-video and an ir blaster to change channels on my directv... that's so 90's! this means i must watch what i record instead of being able to watch and record things independently. also, the signal quality of s-video i'm sure doesn't measure up to the hdmi out my computer is capable of...

    my tv card website says the tv card will tune ntsc, atsc, clear qam channels...so shouldn't it be able to tune my directv "directly"? after reading a little about clear qam, i thought maybe directv scrambles all of their channels or something or maybe directv signals are totally a different kind of signal than a clear qam signal? there's nothing that really explains any of this anywhere. hopefully someone can shed light on this for me.

    i also remember this thing called a cablecard built-in to some tv's. i thought if i could setup a cablecard upstream of my tv card, that should work shouldn't it? but reading the previous posts on this thread, it appears cablecards are not available for pc's unless one buys one purpose built that way (post 2 above)? but then in post 5 above it says cable companies must install a cablecard by law if you ask them to. can anyone help me understand this better? thanks in advance!

    my system:
    o/s: 32 bit vista premium
    cpu: intel core 2 quad q9550
    m/b: asus p5q deluxe
    video card: asus eah 4870 (w/hdmi out)
    tv card: hauppauge wintv-hvr-1800 (soon to be replaced by hvr-2250)
    hdd's: applications - striped raptors, data - seagate 1TB
    opticals: lg blu ray combo drive, pioneer dvd-rw

  12. #12
    Joined
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Cape Cod, MA
    Age
    62
    Posts
    11,621

    Re: Cable Cards, do you use them?

    QAM will only work with cable tv, you would need to run the cable directly into the tuner card, bypassing the cable box. Satellite tv is different, it has to go through the directv box. The only way to capture satellite HD at this point in in time is the Hauppauge HD-PVR. It is a stand-alone box, that accepts component inputs, and plugs into your PC via usb. It works pretty well, but the software is still going through some growing pains.
    There are a couple of professional HDMI capture cards, but software is a problem, and they are several hundred dollars. Google Black Magic cards.
    HD to a PC is a huge pain at this time, largely due to copyright concerns.

  13. #13
    Joined
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    4

    Re: Cable Cards, do you use them?

    thanks for the reply. more questions:
    1) is satellite different because it is encrypted or because it is totally a different kind of signal?
    2) i don't need satellite, so i can dump the directv for digital cable. if i do that, am i correct in assuming i can watch clear qam channels only, but encrypted channels like hbo, etc. i would still need to go through the cable box?
    3) if 2 above is true, what about hooking up a cablecard upstream of my tv card so i can watch encrypted channels w/o needing to use a cable box?

  14. #14
    Joined
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Cape Cod, MA
    Age
    62
    Posts
    11,621

    Re: Cable Cards, do you use them?

    Quote Originally Posted by z3o View Post
    thanks for the reply. more questions:
    1) is satellite different because it is encrypted or because it is totally a different kind of signal?

    2) i don't need satellite, so i can dump the directv for digital cable. if i do that, am i correct in assuming i can watch clear qam channels only, but encrypted channels like hbo, etc. i would still need to go through the cable box?

    3) if 2 above is true, what about hooking up a cablecard upstream of my tv card so i can watch encrypted channels w/o needing to use a cable box?
    1. Yes, it is different kind of signal, and has to be processed in the satellite box.
    2. Yes, this is correct.
    3. Unfortunately, cable card is only available on a complete pre-built system that is designed for it. There is a special bios chip in the motherboard that is required, and Windows requires a special, separate activation code for the cable card to work.

  15. #15
    Joined
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Blaine, WA
    Age
    66
    Posts
    30,989

    Re: Cable Cards, do you use them?

    Quote Originally Posted by John C View Post
    3. Unfortunately, cable card is only available on a complete pre-built system that is designed for it. There is a special bios chip in the motherboard that is required, and Windows requires a special, separate activation code for the cable card to work.
    I keep waiting for this to change, too!
    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •